Dorothy Day: Dissenting Voice of the American Century

S. & S. Mar. 2020. 448p. ISBN 9781982103491. $30. BIOG
In this first book-length biography of Dorothy Day (1897–1980) in 40 years, coauthors Loughery (Dagger John) and Randolph (Amelia Earhart) trace their subject’s life from her childhood and rejection of her family’s conservative values through her death to the introduction of her cause for canonization in 1997. With ambitions of becoming a writer, Day moved to New York’s bohemian Greenwich Village, where her associates included close friend and playwright Eugene O’Neill. After a period of heavy drinking, smoking, and sexual activity during which she had an abortion and a daughter out of wedlock, she converted to Catholicism and her life changed dramatically. Always doctrinally conservative, Day was decidedly radical concerning social justice issues such as the plight of the poor, racism, workers’ rights, and antiwar activities. Best known for founding the Catholic Worker movement with French visionary Peter Maurin, Day opened houses of hospitality in a number of U.S. cities and founded the left-leaning Catholic Worker newspaper, still in print.
VERDICT Highly recommended for readers interested in 20th-century sociopolitical history as well as Day’s life.

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